What type of finish for handles on my stanley plane?

Any advice for my latest project?
I'm cleaning up an old Stanley bench plane from the 50's. It has sentimental value though not $ value. I've cleaned up the metal work and squared and sharpened the blade, now I need to decide what to do with the handles.
As the paint was peeling off of them and had a nasty tendency to get lodged in my hands and under nails, I took some 220 grit sandpaper and some steel wool and sanded away the paint (red? maroon?) which left an interesting purple stain on the bare wood underneath that fades into the more blondish non-stained wood.
So, here's my question. What should I do next to them? I want to finish the handles so I can protect the wood and ultimately use the plane again without rubbing off in my hands. Ideally, I'd like a nice thick glossy finish to show off the time its taken to get it working again.
I've been trying to get more into finishing some of my projects lately, so in the past couple weeks I've been buying a whole bunch of things that I've read about but have never used before.
So far my finishing shelf includes the following products: tung oil, danish oil, linseed oil, denatured alcohol, penatrol, brush cleaner, Cabot penetrating wood stain (colored amethyst - which looked dark purple on the test piece in Lowes but looks more girly lavendar when I put some on some scrap pine) and some Cabot gloss polurethane.
On a side note, does anyone know what products/finishes are on the handles of these Lie-Nielsen planes?
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?catP5
The wood on these handles is quite dark so I don't think I could make them look like that but I've always wondered how to make a similar high gloss and durable finish.
Thanks for bearing with my rambling question and advice on my project.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you can get down to the wood, I would use either the tung oil you have or the danish oil.. They will make a nice finish on the handles. Only that is really dry you can put a few coats of clear poly waterbased finish. If you want a black high gloss fininih them I would go with a black enamel and then a few coats of poly.
Randy http://nokeswoodworks.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, you can be pretty sure that it is NOT polyurethane. The intersection between those who use Lie-Nielsen planes and those who finish wood (other than floors) in polyurethane is probably pretty small. In fact, according to their web site,
:The Cherry knob and handle are finished with wiping varnish and should require no maintenance.
Tung oil or BLO gives a nice finish, but no covering of the wood underneath. Shellac gives a nice shine if that is what you are looking for, Not real durable, but easy to repair/renew. If you want to use polyurethane for the durability, I'd look into a wiping version, which can give you a closer-to-the-wood, less "plasitcy" finish.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You could replicate the paint finish and then a couple coats of varnish over it for wear.
What I've done is to use gel stain to get the color I like, I use Minwax cause it's locally available, but others will do. If you started with a Mahogany stain, or cherry stain you will get a sort of red with the grain showing through.
I mostly use shellac, because you can put a lot of coats on quickly, and it dries so fast that dust can't get to it and mess up the finish. Sand with 400 grit, a final coat of finish and then apply wax with steel wool. It gives a voluptuous feeling finish.
Wiping varnish will do the same thing, applied in the same way.
Old Guy Who whas too many planes, but loved cleaning them up.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.